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The International Court of Justice — an arm of the United Nations — needs clerks. That problem is about to become, well, history. Beginning next fall, the court will get its first pool of five clerks. They will all be fluent in English or French, and they will all be graduates of New York University School of Law, which is paying for the program. “The court is looking for ways of dealing with its caseload,” says its president, Stephen Schwebel, an American who used to teach international law at Johns Hopkins University. “Normally, this would be part of the court budget. But the United Nations is in poor financial shape because quite a number of member nations, notably the United States, are in arrears.” He adds that NYU’s offer to finance the five clerk-interns “will meet a serious and urgent need.” The program is a coup for NYU, which likes to style itself “The Global Law School.” Dean John Sexton raised the money — about $180,000 a year — from still-anonymous donors. “This will be analogous to a federal appellate clerkship,” says Norman Dorsen, NYU’s faculty chair of the global law program. NYU will pick ten finalists, and the Court will pick the clerks from that pool. No nation will have more than one clerk. NYU should be able to provide the mix. Its student body includes about 300 foreign nationals from more than 50 countries. A veritable United Nations.

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